Formula 1 - McLaren 'fully behind' Perez

McLaren is wholly supportive of Sergio Perez's recent aggression and does not believe he is doing anything radical or inappropriate, according to sporting director Sam Michael.

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McLaren Formula One drivers Jenson Button of Britain (L) and Sergio Perez of Mexico pose for photographers (Reuters)

The Mexican has been criticised by Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen in recent races, with the latter suggesting he needed to be punched after the pair collided late on at Monaco.

Does Perez deserve to be punched?

Rather than castigate the 23-year-old, however, Michael says McLaren fully supports his aggression because it epitomises the core values of the sport - and because he is not doing anything his detractors have not done during their own formative years.

"Ultimately he is a racing driver and he is just racing," Michael said during a Vodafone phone-in on Wednesday.

"It [Monaco] was obviously hard racing, but that is what F1 is about.

"McLaren supports the way that he is racing at the moment what he's doing; we are fully behind him.

"All the moves he did are all moves that have been done by all of those drivers at various points of their careers - some not that long ago.

"The overtaking opportunities that are available at the Monaco chicane are ones that have been used for a long time before Checo was even born, so it's not the case [that] he was applying them as something new.

"He is racing for his position and establishing himself. The racing he is doing, all those other drivers have done themselves. That's Formula 1."

Michael admitted Perez had gone through a 'transition' in recent races, following a slightly cautious start which prompted team boss Martin Whitmarsh to urge him to be tougher on track.

Michael insists that has not been a source of concern however, because it has also brought about an improvement in pace.

"He definitely went through a transition in the last two or three races, and he's been able to really mix it on pace with his team-mate which is good," he said.

"As long as he keeps developing and going in that direction, that is all that matters to us.

"For a 23-year-old, with a team-mate with at least 10 years more experience – and who is a world champion - Checo is doing well.

"Technically he knows what he wants from the car and he's quite specific about that with the engineers, and that's good for the level of experience he has got."

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